Blogs

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This is the time in the national political cycle when organizations like ours  closely evaluate  the priorities of the incoming Administration and look for overlap with our own advocacy agendas. And although as of this date (November 16, 2020) there are still many unknowns about what next year will look like in Washington DC, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is clear about our priorities.  Let’s  look at “Building a Healthy America,” the AIA’s 2020 Policy Platform, and see how it lines up with what the Biden-Harris Transition Team has posted on their website.       First, the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s four priority categories – “COVID-19, ...
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PARTNER Content:  AEC Thought Leaders Share 3 Ways 2020 Changed the Industry   Autodesk   In September, Autodesk brought together more than 50 architectural, engineering, and construction industry thought leaders for a two-session virtual symposium on the events of 2020 and their immediate and long-term industry impact.   The impetus for the symposium was, of course, COVID-19. The pandemic has shifted strategic priorities for many firms, and we wanted to hear from leaders how that shift was changing their vision of the future.   What we found was that AEC leaders have been, as Hilmar Koch, Director, Practice Group, Strategic Foresight ...
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Mainstreaming Zero Carbon : a special issue of Buildings & Cities   By Kira Gould   Buildings & Cities  is a n  international, open access, peer-reviewed, academic journal publishing high-quality research and analysis “on the interplay between the different scales of the built environment: buildings, blocks,  neighbourhoods , cities, national building stocks and infrastructures.” Its editorial team, led by Richard Lorch, is  dedicated to making peer-reviewed research accessible  and free to all .  T he collection of papers in  this special issue  --  Education and Training: Mainstreaming Zero Carbon  --  examines ...
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COTE Network: A Community of Architects and Advocates  / Q4 2020 Call   By Kira Gould   The COTE Network is the term we use for the groups within local and state AIA components who call themselves Committee on the Environment (or something similar). There are at least 44 chapters that we know of (and we know for sure that there are more!). The chapters range in scale, purpose, and habit; this diversity reflects the needs of their component constituents. Some focus on education or guest lectures, some have advocacy aims, and others are social groups that migrate content every yea r.     On November 9,  2020,  we held our fourth quarter ...
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COD Webinars

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Webinar Recordings Watch > Webinar Schedule 2020 December  Monument Redefined: Expanding the Conversation for Social Justice Thursday, December 10 | 1-2:15pm ET | 1 LU/HSW Learn more and register &
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  Conquering Climate Change Through Innovation   By Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA, LEED Fellow, Thornton Tomasetti   When it comes to carbon emissions, it is no secret that buildings are among the biggest offenders. It is estimated that building construction, materials and operations are responsible for nearly 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that an ever-increasing number of architects, engineers and others in the building industry recognize the impact our designs have on the environment and are taking action.   In addition to certification programs, such as LEED and Passive House , design professionals are ...
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Dear COTE community, This is my last letter as Chair, and I want to use this opportunity to thank many the volunteers and staff at AIA who have institutionalized and mainstreamed so much of the great work COTE started!  This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the commitments, documents and resources recently created and promoted via aia.org.  We’ve shared some of these efforts before but didn’t have the polished and branded content yet.  Please share these broadly with your office and local communities. 2030 by the numbers - This report captures the predicted energy use intensity (pEUI) 2019 data 311 firms submitted via the 2030 Design Data Exchange (DDx). ...
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In Portland, Oregon, a derelict warehouse district with rampant vacancy was transformed during the last two decades of the 20 th century into the “Pearl District,” a neighborhood known worldwide for its vibrant life and unique character. One local reflection captures the area’s transformation:   “Ever squinted your eyes and tried to imagine something that’s only in your head? That’s how it was for those of us who looked over the rail yards and abandoned warehouses of inner northwest Portland some 20 years ago. Rundown and dilapidated, it was a sight that even the best of us squinters had trouble overcoming. And yet, slowly, a largely forgotten part of ...
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Interfaith Design’s Knowledge Resources Committee is pleased to present the first in an occasional series of articles on the practice of interfaith architecture.  Patrick Perry is a real estate and environmental attorney practicing in Los Angeles.  This month, Patrick shares some of his experience with the unique land use and zoning concerns for religious organizations.  Please enjoy and share! In 1992 the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, a religious order founded by Mother Teresa, acquired a historic property in a densely populated neighborhood southwest of downtown Los Angeles where they established an outreach ministry to homeless youth and young adults.  ...
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CEUs Available at PastForward Online 2020 Celebrate the power of place, virtually, with more than a thousand preservationists and preservation lovers at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s online conference for those who work to save, sustain, and interpret historic places— PastForward Online 2020, October 27–30 . Continuing Education Units (CEUs) have been submitting to both American Planning Association (APA) and American Institute of Architects (AIA). At this point 32 CM credits have been approved by APA, and 25 HSW credits from AIA. There is also an architects/design professional zoom gathering Friday October 30th 6:00-7:00
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[From COTE sponsor EPIC Metals] The AIA awards the COTE Top Ten awards each year to projects that embody holistic design excellence. Through its dedication and commitment to sustainability, EPIC Metals, a steel roof and floor deck ceiling manufacturer has supplied systems to nine Top Ten projects awarded in the last several years.   In 2020, the U.S. Land Port of Entry, Columbus, New Mexico project was selected as a Top Ten award winner. One judge commented that “a port of entry is a challenging building type. The designers in the project not only met the challenge, but achieved more by showing us how the architecture of any kind can make human environments ...
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By Allison Anderson, FAIA, and Jori Erdman, AIA The summer of 2020 brought more fires, heat, and severe storms than ever before in the midst of a global pandemic. These are all events with strong links to climate change. Architects, charged with adapting to the future, are wondering: How can we anticipate and design for a world filled with so many unknowns? How do we create design excellence that is also resilient against accelerating climate impacts: heat, storms, and fires as well as less dramatic but critical everyday impacts such as sunny-day flooding?   Perhaps we already know how. Architects design alongside uncertainty all the time. We are trained ...
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Dear COTE members, We are entering the home stretch of 2020; a year filled with enormous tragedy, resilience, and learning.  At a time of such change within the AIA and the world, COTE has reviewed and revised our mission and goals for the coming years.  We have come a long way since our founding 30 years ago. The adoption of COTE tenets into the AIA’s definition of Design Excellence and integration of these into the 2021 Honor Awards for Architecture beg the question “what’s next for COTE”? Since March, we’ve been working to clarify and simply the message of what COTE stands for and what we will do to elevate the power of design to accelerate climate ...
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  Letter from the Academy of Architecture for Justice Leadership Group Dear AAJ and community members, Over the course of the past year we have seen an awakening in our country and around the world regarding social justice and racial inequality that has prompted a spirited public dialogue about our justice system and the responsibility of architects engaged in the planning and design of justice facilities. Recent statements from AIA New York, ADPSR, and individual firms and architects have brought to light important ethical considerations that are essential to the work of our Knowledge Community. As architects committed to the advancement of fair, ...
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Get to know your LG Kristine Bishop Johnson, AIA  What are you most passionate about in regards to Justice Architecture? KBJ:       As a justice architect, I’m most passionate about the ability to impact positive change in our communities through civic and justice projects. We are impacting project development, planning and design for all phases of the criminal justice system through our work. Justice architecture seems to be a misunderstood career path. We have access to and influence with politicians, practicioners, judges, community organizations and those who are impacted by the criminal justice system. Our work helps facilitate conversations ...
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Emerging Professional Profiles Drew Hustedde, Architect, TreanorHL Personal Information: • How do you like to spend your free time? DH: I love hands-on work and problem-solving. Becoming a homeowner in 2018, I have learned the list of projects never ends but am certainly not complaining. I spend a lot of free time tackling these projects of both necessity… and intention. • What is your favorite book? DH: Tough question. Can I have favortie books? I like books that enable me to dream, think, and do. I will first say a favorite recent read of mine would be Artemis, by Andy Weir, the same author of The Martian – you may have seen the movie. ...
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Letter from a Chair

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Letter from a Chair Welcome to our first (and only) Journal of 2020! I think it is safe to say that this year has been a challenge.  First a global pandemic has made us put our lives on pause and forced us to re-think what it means to gather and to examine the implications of sickness on design and community. We are still figuring out how to navigate this new normal while doing our best to study and investigate best practices to keep our built environment COVID safe.  We are also navigating the uncertain economy this virus has also spread. Then the death of George Floyd at the hands police officers has brought the systematic racism in our societies forward ...
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WRNS Studio  is a mid-sized architecture and planning firm led by 16 partners in four cities. Since our founding in 2005, the studio has sought to drive-- and nudge-- innovative and proven sustainable strategies into every project, no matter the type, size, or budget.      The best thing about a benchmark system is not the medal but the microscope through which you start to understand many things about your profession and the numerous disciplines, subtrades, and organizations processes that influence the success of a building.     As we are now in the middle of our 15-year firm anniversary, ...
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The AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) would like to invite you to participate with us at our Fall Conference at the EDspaces Digital Experience . Our events have always been about innovation, content, connections, and community. This is especially true and needed in today’s COVID environment. Together we can face uncertainties and overcome challenges successfully.   ​ We’re inviting all architects and designers (AIA, CAE, or not!) to experience a conference that is a unique collaboration encouraging networking while giving attendees an opportunity to forge meaningful professional connections throughout the education sector. ​   ​ The ...
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COD: Travels to Chile Relive the COD Conference Tour in Chile The Committee on Design held its 2018 international conference in Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile, from October 20-27, 2018. Now is an excellent time to reminisce and/or imagine what a conference could have looked like this year.  Watch it here > AIA Miami's Travel into Chile: A Travelogue of Chilean Architecture MCAD and Copperbridge Foundation present an evening with Chilean Architects. This panel discussion is an in-depth conversation about Chilean architecture. Watch it here >
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